In this issue, journalist Jaisal Noor writes about the life of homelessness activist and organizer Anthony Wann Williams. Williams, a Baltimore native, experienced homelessness, was able to overcome it, and then used everything he could to help others. Williams died on May 8 and his memorial was held last month.
“You don’t know how much power you have until we discover it and you use it,” he said in a video played for people who attended his memorial.
“My transition from homelessness in Baltimore has also helped me to help thousands of other people.”
In a world where it’s so easy to be selfish, I don’t know any greater legacy than that.
“He demanded that we be better as a city, as organizations and as people,” Kevin Lindamood, president and CEO of Health Care for the Homeless, who served with Williams on the board of the Continuum of Care, told Baltimore Beat.
In the wake of some disturbing news about policing in Baltimore (first, that the Baltimore Police Department didn’t provide a proper response to July’s escalating Brooklyn Homes gathering due to officer “indifference,” and then revelations that Baltimore City State’s Attorney Ivan Bates’ plan to crack down on low-level offenses isn’t quite working out), this issue’s piece from Baltimore Courtwatch offers a sobering and timely reality check: police reform isn’t coming. If it was coming, we certainly wouldn’t be on a direct path to Richard Worley as the city’s next police commissioner.
“We know Worley oversaw the Northeast District when Tyrone West was brutally beaten to death by his officers,” write Courtwatch members. “When questioned about this in recent public meetings, Worley claimed to be powerless to review the case. During the recent Brooklyn Day shooting, Worley was acting commissioner. His initial response was that BPD and he were “unaware” of the popular event and any potential trouble. When it became apparent that the community alerted BPD to potential issues hours before the shooting, he countered that the department needs more technology and power to more oppressively surveil.”
I will continue to sound the alarm on this city’s indifference to police violence because every day that leaders dance around the issue is another day that lives are at risk.
Also in this issue, our Arts and Culture Editor Teri Henderson writes about a new exhibition by Larry “Poncho” Brown, our film critic Dominic Griffin writes about the coming-of-age film “Miguel Wants to Fight,” and we have a piece of creative writing from Writers in Baltimore Schools student TyOnna Jones.